Two months ago — on April 11, 2014 — Lori Hill last communicated via a text message with her 16-year-old daughter Anne.
Wednesday evening, family members and supporters marked the two-month anniversary of the Piedmont teen’s disappearance with a candlelight vigil in Hafer Park. Family members displayed Anne’s car, a 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo with black racing stripes, in front of the duck pond pavilion. On April 16, it was found abandoned in Edmond in the 700 block of Rockridge Circle.
The car was found five days after the teen was last seen. She watched movies with a friend at his brother’s Edmond apartment on April 10 and was reportedly seen at her local gym the next morning. Another friend said he saw her about 4 p.m. April 11 at a local McDonald’s, but the trail goes cold after then, according to police reports. The sophomore was attending Casady High School at the time of her disappearance.
As the vigil began Wednesday night, supporters were encouraged to mingle. Glenda Bitner was one of the many volunteers with the Human Animal Link of Oklahoma Foundation (H.A.L.O.) who came.
H.A.L.O.’s certified teams make scheduled therapeutic or comfort visits to hospitals, schools, libraries, mental health services, youth and adults with disabilities, the elderly and members of the military. Their dogs offer moments of calm and peace, and can reach into minds and hearts to communicate with people who may have shut out the human factor.
Bitner said she came to support the family. Anne was one of H.A.L.O.’s youngest handlers, she said. Volunteer Keith Montgomery was her mentor during the training period.
“I felt like I needed to be here,” Bitner said. “I’m a mom. I can’t imagine what the family is going through.”
Anne’s aunt Stacey Frazier, of Yukon, was among the family members there. Frazier said Anne is a typical 16-year-old. They enjoy hanging out together. Frazier said she’s keeping herself going by staying busy. She said Anne cares a lot about family.
“I know she didn’t just run off,” Frazier said.
Dan Gutekunst, a Church of the First Born elder, led a prayer.
“We ask that you intervene in this situation to bring Anne back,” he prayed as the sky gradually darkened above the duck pond. He asked God to put a hedge of protection around the missing teen; but investigators suspect foul play.
Jamie Biller-Landry, a neighbor of Anne’s family, sang “Amazing Grace,” a cherished Christian hymn of hope.
Lori Hill, Anne’s mother, was among those passing out candles to supporters who carried them as they circled the duck pond and returned to the pavilion where the vigil continued.
After Anne went missing, family members and supporters began passing out fliers containing photos of the teen and information about her disappearance. A flier made by the family describes Anne as being about 5-feet, 4-inches tall, weighing about 120 pounds, having brown hair, brown eyes and a curvy lined tattoo on her right hip. She was last seen wearing a blue one-piece short set.
In addition to her car being found in Edmond, the last known ping from her cell phone was in the vicinity of the University of Central Oklahoma, which led to the family searching Fink Park, located just to the south of UCO.
Facebook pages “Find Anne Hill” and “Help Find Anne Hill” have been created. “Help Find Anne Hill” has been “liked” by Marc Klass and the KlassKids Foundation, which informs parents and communities about how to prevent crimes against children.
The Oklahoma City Police Department’s homicide unit is investigating Anne’s disappearance. The family’s flier states that a $10,000 reward is being offered for information.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Anne Josette Hill is asked to call the Oklahoma City Police Department Homicide Tip Line at 297-1200.
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